CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina took the lead in the fourth inning on a two-run home run from Alex Gattinelli but would get outscored 7-1 over the final five innings in an 8-3 defeat to the Georgia Southern Eagles on Saturday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.
The loss is the second-straight for the Chants, while the Eagles extend their winning streak to eight consecutive games.
The Coastal offense had nine hits on the day, however, could not string together a series of hits and left nine runners on base in the loss.
Gattinelli (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) had two RBIs with his two-run shot while fellow Chant Lorenzo Morello (1-for-4, 2B, RBI) had the other extra-base hit and RBI on the day.
The Eagles offense had double-digit hits for the second-straight game, picking up eight runs on 10 hits from six different players. Mason McWhorter (2-for-5, HR, 3 RBIs, run) again homered for the visitors and drove in a game-high three RBIs, while fellow outfielders Paul Biederer (3-for-4, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) and Christian Avant (2-for-4, SF, RBI, run) combined to go 5-for-8 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
CCU starter Nick Parker (2-3) suffered the loss, as the junior allowed four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits, and one walk over 4.0-plus innings.
Reliever Alaska Abney came out of the bullpen with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and went the rest of the way, surrendering four runs on four hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts over 5.0 innings. His eight strikeouts tied his career-high.
The win went to starter Brayden Hays (2-1), as the lefty held CCU to just two runs on six hits, no walks, and five strikeouts, while Nick Jones (10) earned the save by throwing the final 1.2 innings in the win.
Georgia Southern took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a two-out RBI single to center field by Biederer before Parker sent the Eagles down in order 1-2-3 in both the third and fourth innings to keep the Chants within one.
Coastal took its first lead of the series in the bottom half of the fourth, as Eric Brown led off the inning with a single to right field and moved up 90-feet on a sacrifice bunt by BT Riopelle. Brown then walked home, as Gattinelli hit the ninth pitch of his at-bat over the left-field wall for a two-run home run to put the men in teal up 2-1 after four innings of play.
However, the lead did not last long, as the Eagles plated three runs in the next half-inning on three-straight singles to start the fifth with the third one driving in the tying run.
After a hit-by-pitch and a strikeout, a sacrifice fly and a fielding error on a fly ball to left field allowed two more runners to score to put the visitors back in front at 4-2 midway through the fifth frame.
CCU would strand two runners on base in both the fifth and sixth innings and would find themselves down 5-2 in the eighth inning on an RBI bloop double down the right-field line by Austin Thompson.
A two-out RBI double by Morello in the bottom half of the eighth inning cut the Eagles’ lead to two at 5-3, however, that was as close as the Chants would get as McWhorter hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth to cap off the 8-3 win.
Coastal (16-13, 2-6 SBC) and Georgia Southern (21-13, 9-5 SBC) will play the third game of the three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET.
COURTESY: COASTAL CAROLINA ATHLETICS